The New York Times has an interesting article out today that makes some interesting points, but as usual, is off target. The article appears to be a veiled threat to Google and Facebook. The new media sources have been devastating to the old print media, pushing many traditional news outlets to bankruptcy. The power, prestige, reach and influence of the New York Times is but a shadow of its former self, dwarfed by new media companies like Google and Facebook whose market capitalizations have daily fluctuation that may exceed the entire value of the New York Times.
So what does a good leftist do when the free market kicks it in the crotch? They call for government action. Behind the laughable guise of a press organization wanting to stamp out what it deems to be “fake news,” the New York Times is making the argument that the Government should label Google and Facebook monopolies and break them up. In reality, they are lobbying for the Government violating the 1st Amendment and regulating the press and speech.
Brandeis wanted to eliminate monopolies, because (in the words of his biographer Melvin Urofsky) “in a democratic society the existence of large centers of private power is dangerous to the continuing vitality of a free people.” We need look no further than the conduct of the largest banks in the 2008 financial crisis or the role that Facebook and Google play in the “fake news” business to know that Brandeis was right.
The New York Times, however, doesn’t stop there, breaking up the Monopolies just isn’t enough. Breaking them up still allows them to be free, smaller, but free. The New York Times is a leftist organization, they don’t want freedom, they want to control. The New York Times isn’t only arguing for the breaking up of the new media, they want to deem them public utilities so the government can heavily regulate them. They want Google and Facebook to be tools of the Government, not tools of the people.
While Brandeis generally opposed regulation — which, he worried, inevitably led to the corruption of the regulator — and instead advocated breaking up “bigness,” he made an exception for “natural” monopolies, like telephone, water and power companies and railroads, where it made sense to have one or a few companies in control of an industry.Could it be that these companies — and Google in particular — have become natural monopolies by supplying an entire market’s demand for a service, at a price lower than what would be offered by two competing firms? And if so, is it time to regulate them like public utilities?
Off the charts Left-wing Silicon Valley had better wake up, and wake up fast. Their form of liberalism is based on individual freedoms, free markets, and private property rights. Silicon Valley is the epitome of free market capitalism. While they may wear their Che/Mao/Marx Tee-Shirts while coding for their 6 figure salaries, there is nothing collectivist about them. While they may support regulating fracking, oil, coal, banks and other industries, they would never accept regulation of themselves. Hypocrisy, ignorance, naivety and gullibility may be what defines them, but make no mistake, they aren’t stupid. Extremely misguided, yes, stupid? Not on your life. They want Government out of their lives, not intruding in it.
Hopefully, this article will be a shot across the bow, a wake-up call to Silicon Valley. The New York Times has brought out the big guns and pointed them squarely at the most powerful and liberal companies on earth. Like VP Frank Underwood said in House of Cards, “you may have all the money, but I have all the men with guns.” The Government and leftwing organizations like the New York Times are the greatest threats to the liberals in Silicon Valley. Ironically, the greatest allies Silicon Valley has are the Conservatives. As long as anti-big government, anti-regulation, pro-constitution people are in power, they have absolutely nothing to worry about. Conservatives may not like a whole lot that comes out of Hollywood and Silicon Valley, but they will fight to the death for their right to live their lives as they see fit.
This is a climate change blog, why am I writing about a spat between the New York Times, Google and Facebook? Because the New York Times makes a great case for breaking up not Google or Facebook, but the EPA.
While Brandeis generally opposed regulation — which, he worried, inevitably led to the corruption of the regulator — and instead advocated breaking up “bigness,”
The EPA is clearly a victim of what economists call “regulatory capture.” They no longer serve the public, they serve the interests and agendas of the NGOs and other interested parties that now control them. The recent behavior of EPA employees and others involved in the climate change movement provide the evidence that it is time to break up the climate change departments of the EPA, NOAA, and NASA. Clearly too much power is concentrated in the hands of a few activists masquerading as public servants and scientists.
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